Fall 2015 Fellow
Fellow: Aiesha Turman
Project: Black Girl Muse (BGMuseum)


ABOUT Black Girl Muse (BGMuseum)

Black Girl Muse (BGMuseum) was a traveling museum, digital exhibition and interactive pop-up art-making/media-making space that hoped to engage Black women and girls around issues of sex/uality, gender, identity, community, family, and place-making. The events implemented a range of artistic modalities including literature/poetry, performance, visual art, and digital media. BGMuse was composed of three distinct, yet intertwining components: pop-up museum, community engagement, and digital archive. The overall goal for BGMuse was to imbue participants with how art and media making are liberating practices that can assist in dismantling the intertwining ideologies of white supremacy and misogynoir (a term coined by queer Black feminist scholar Moya Bailey that refers to misogyny directed towards Black women, where race and gender both play roles in bias; particularly in American visual and popular culture) that are held, often subconsciously, and also encouraged participants to engage in their own ongoing art making practices.

News And UPdates

Follow The Black Girl Project on Facebook or go straight to the website to learn about upcoming events and community workshops

Previous Workshops/Training: Friday, May 12th, 7-10pm and Saturday, May 13th, 1-8pm.

Emotional Emancipation Circles were a collaboration between the Community Healing Network (CHN) and the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi). They are "self-help support groups in which we, Black people, work together to overcome, heal from, and overturn the lies of White superiority and Black inferiority: the root causes of the devaluing of Black lives."

As an ally to the Community Healing Network, The Black Girl Project conducted a 2-day facilitator training that prepared participants to lead trainings in their respective communities. EE Circle workshops and trainings were “within-group” gatherings designed to equip members of the Black community to establish and maintain Emotional Emancipation Circles. The workshops and trainings focused on the underlying principles of emotional emancipation that should inform any effort aimed at improving conditions in Black communities and the specifics of Emotional Emancipation Circles, and how they can be used to help promote personal and community healing and transformation.

For each workshop and training, CHN and ABPsi found participants who were committed to emotional emancipation for themselves and their families and communities, willing to be advocates and champions for the idea of emotional emancipation, and willing to mentor others to help build the global movement for the emotional emancipation, healing, wellness, and empowerment of Black people. Participants were required to attend each session and each session begins promptly at the scheduled time.

Black Girl Museum Inaugural Session

Aiesha led a trauma-informed public-participatory workshop and maker space that took the form of a healing circle. Over the course of the workshop, participants were walked through the 4 major points of the Bantu-Kongo cosmogram, and at each point, instructed on sound and movement and their relationship to releasing trauma. Participants were then placed in pairs/small groups, and following seven essential cues, each group/pair was given time to engage collectively on each cues’ applicability to their lives.

Participants were then given a variety of materials to choose from to create art and make meaning of their experiences. The session concluded in a gallery showing and artist talks by participants.

Artist Bio

Aiesha Turman is scholar-practioner whose intellectual work focuses race and gender, historical trauma and grief, inter-generational transfer, cultural production, and the epistemological implications of Afrofuturism via a Black Feminist lens. Aiesha’s research agenda is centrally concerned with Black women and how women across the Diaspora mediate historical trauma and grief via a broad spectrum of cultural production(s). Specifically, she is invested in thinking about and creating liberatory women-centered spaces and how those spaces propel culture forward.

Aiesha is excited to undertake research that centralizes the voices of Black women and is looking to make an impact on how we view cultural production for and by women across the African Diaspora. She holds a BA in Cultural Studies with an emphasis on Women’s History and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis on African American Women’s Literature and Culture, both from the State University of New York, Empire State College, and is currently a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Humanities and Culture and a Women and Gender Studies and Creative Writing certificate candidate at Union Institute & University.

She was recently named a 2015-2016 Barnard College Library Research Award recipient.

In addition to her academic work, Aiesha is the Founder and Executive Director of The Black Girl Project, a leading-edge grassroots/community organization whose mission is to assist young women and girls develop leadership through the creation and critical and analytical analysis of media and the arts.